How to Rescue Failing Software Projects: Practical Proven Methods That Work

IMG_1712 My book is finally available as an eBook, on Amazon Kindle and on Amazon. I wrote this book to share my experience in how to rescue failing software projects. When I was going through such a situation, I had no one to turn to. My hope is that the information in this book will be useful to those in similar situations. Although the information in the book pertains to software projects, I have come to realize that the techniques can be used in many other situations. I have personally used these techniques in business and technical projects.

You can read more about it here.
My book can be purchased here at
Amazon Kindle version is available here at

Monday, May 07, 2007

Act Now!

How difficult can getting into an elevator (also known as a lift in Asia) be? Can we learn simple lessons about getting into an elevator?

I had a eureka moment this morning. It may sound really foolish, but I'm putting myself on the line by sharing my insght here. So, no flaming please. Haha! ;-)

Early this morning, I left my house with my mind occupied on an important assignment. I had put on my socks and shoes, one foot at a time. My mind deep in thought about my assignment. I opened my front door and walked out into the brave new frontier, called "a new day". Step by step, I got closer to the elevator. I could hear the sound of my shoes as it hit the ground with each step. My mind still occupied with my assignment. I stood in front of the elevator, looking at the display above on which floor the elevator was at. My mind still occupied with my assignment. As I waited, I mulled over my assignment. I waited some more.

I began to wonder why the elevator hadn't reached my floor. I thought this was going to be a long wait, that there must have been many people taking the elevator down to the ground floor this morning. So, I waited some more.

Boy, did I feel foolish. I realised that I hadn't pressed the elevator button. There I was, dressed smartly, waiting for the elevator to arrive, and stood there wondering why it didn't arrive. All this while, I had not pressed the elevator button.

I sheepishly walked forward, pressed the elevator button to go down, and Wa-Lah! Within 15 seconds, the elevator arrived. How long was I standing in front of the elevator? About 5 mintues, 5 long minutes or 300 seconds!

What's even more amazing was the simple lesson this episode reinforced in me. The simple lesson was this:

"If you take no action, you get no result". Or to spin this positively, "If you take action, you will definitely get a result".

Let's dissect the statement "If you take no action,you get no result".

Isn't this true? If you take no action, there will be no result, as shown in my example of not pressing the elevator button, I get no result.

What about "If you take action, you will definitely get a result"?

As in my example above, I took action by pressing the elevator button, and the elevator arrived. I got the result.

However, does taking action mean that you get the result you want? Definitely not. If it were that simple, everyone will be wealthy, healthy and happy because everyone will be taking action every minute. The only guarantee we have is that we will definitely get a result when we take action. The caveat is that the result may not be what we want or expect, but its still a result nonetheless. Is this good?

Yes it is. If you have a goal, you need to take action to get closer to it. By taking action, you get a result. If the result is not what you expected or want, take action again with a different method and review the result again. The result simply tells you that the action taken will yeield the result. If its not the result you want or expect, change the action and take action again. You will then learn what works and what doesn't. This will definitely drive you closer and closer to your goals. Sometime, taking action will not yield a result at all. The result of having no result is a result in itself. It means that you have to change your tactic and take action again.

The opposite is also true. If you have a goal and do not take action, you will definitely get no result. 100% of the time. This is the only guaranteed result...of getting no result. THis is the only sure thing.

So why is it so difficult to take action? Let me list a few reasons I have heard:

1. Its too difficult.
2. It takes too much effort.
3. I started taking action, but lost the fire in me to continue because I'm not getting result.
4. I don't know what the outcome will be. I'm afraid.
5. I'm afraid I will fail.

All these are e-x-c-u-s-e-s. Repeat after me. All these are EXCUSES. If the action does not produce the result you want, its not failure. It simply tells you that your action may not be appropriate at this point in time. Change your tactic and take action again. Life is a learning experience. The more you learn, the better you will be, the more confident you will be, the easier it will be to take more action.

Its also a matter of momentum. The first few steps are the most difficult. Once the first few steps are taken, the rest will follow. Its will rolling a ball down a hill. It rolls down faster and faster. The hard part is rolling it down in the first place. Its a matter of inertia.

So, take action now. No matter how small, you will definitely get a result. This result will tell you if you are on the right path or not. If not, change your tactic, and take action.

Wishing you a successful journey filled with joy and learnings! Don't be too serious. Have fun while you learn and take action.


Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006,2007.
All Rights Reserved

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